Online Poker in India is scaling heights with a burst of poker portals in 2015 and surge in number of new-gen players who love to play this game of skill online. With the growing market and the rising competition, comes the challenge of managing a number of verticals of any online business. One of the most critical wings of the online businesses is customer communication and public relations. It becomes more important when companies roll out innumerous offerings and promotions to lure new customers. A sad part of the growing Indian poker industry is the poor PR efforts of the online poker companies in India.
Apart from a few exceptional cases, Indian poker companies haven’t been up to the industry standards of PR and customer communication in 2015. Talking about a recent incident which fuelled this discussion, StarPoker, one of the newest entrants in online poker market of the country announced Sam Trickett, one of the top rated international poker player as its brand ambassador. This announcement was made on the company’s social media channels and drew the attention of the whole industry as well as the poker community. A few questions were raised on the authenticity of this announcement as Trickett had not given any official statement either verbally or in the digital space. Till the time, Sam Trickett made it official with an announcement on his Facebook page, the discussion had taken a shape of brawl between few people on a public forum.
What Went Wrong?
In today’s fast paced digital world, the standard procedure to make any major announcement is through an official Press Release which includes statements of the business heads. The Press Release spreads the good words about the announcement supported by news articles on relevant media sites. Social media also plays an important role in this process by letting the company’s users and followers know about the new announcement. However, in the above scenario, social media was the only channel of communication initially used which triggered the confusion.
Similar Problems Prevailing
The communication and PR problems of the Indian poker companies are not limited to only the big announcements. The lack of transparency in day-to-day promotions and offers as well as ill-defined Terms & Conditions has also been a major shortcoming of the companies. One of the most important channels of communication used by companies is their own customer support team. Many of the Indian poker companies still doesn’t have an official customer care number which desist the players from getting clarification on day-to-day issues.
What Needs to be Done?
The online poker companies in India need to inspect their communication and PR processes and bring radical changes. The growing poker businesses need to adopt the proven methods of customer and public communication blended with modern PR techniques. 2016 is upon us and the growing Indian poker community expects the online poker companies to improve at this front in the New Year. Here are a few improvements required from these companies:
- Use of established channels of public communication for announcements.
- Better 2-way communication channels for users e.g. Toll-Free Number.
- Transparency in policies involving money transactions.
- Better control on representatives in the community.